The Taliban, reportedly aided by al Qaeda and allied Pakistani groups, attacked the Doad district in Nuristan, briefly taking control of the district and effectively surrounding the provincial capital. Ten Taliban fighters and three policemen have been reported killed in the fighting. From BBC:
“We had intelligence reports that close to 500 Arabs, Chechen, Pakistani and Afghan fighters wanted to attack and take the districts,” Mr Badar [the governor of Nuristan] told the BBC.
“The fighting is still going on. Our weapons are no match to those of the insurgents. We have no hand grenades, mortars or heavy machine guns.
“We have asked for help from the defence ministry but they have not responded to us.”
The insurgents control key routes into the provincial capital, Parun, allowing them to impose a blockade on the city.
Badar later said government forces have retaken Doad district, according to TOLONews.
The Taliban overran the district of Waygal at the end of March, and are also in control of the Kamdesh district. The status of Barg-e-Matal district is unclear; it changes hands between the government and the Taliban frequently. This statement on the worsening security situation in the northeast from an Afghan official should give ISAF and the Afghan government pause:
“If you don’t come and deal with this mess. You will be dealing with another Waziristan and al-Qaeda’s next home inside Afghanistan,” one official told the BBC.
The fighting in Doad is likely being led by Dost Mohammed, the Taliban’s shadow governor of Nuristan province, and Qari Zia Rahman, al Qaeda’s top commander in Nuristan and Kunar provinces, who is also a Taliban leader. Rahman leads forces across the border in the Pakistani tribal agency of Mohmand and Bajaur as well.
For more information on Nuristan and Kunar provinces, see LWJ report, Northeastern Afghan district falls after Taliban assault.
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